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Intel (INTC) may be looking to sell off McAfee, the security software firm it bought in 2010. 

Citing sources familiar with the discussions, CNBC reported that private equity firm Thoma Bravo is in "early discussions" with TPG Capital, which owns a majority stake in McAfee, and Intel to buy the security firm at a premium over its last valuation of $4.2 billion. 

Intel shares were down 0.9% to $47.86 in Friday's trading.

McAfee, which was founded by John McAfee in 1987 and became well-known for its antivirus software, has undergone a few ownership changes in the past several years. 

McAfee was publicly traded until Intel purchased the firm in 2010 for $7.6 billion in the hopes that it could incorporate McAfee's suite of security products into its chipmaking business. In 2016, however, Intel sold 51% of the business to TPG Capital for $4.2 billion, and in 2017, TPG brought Thoma Bravo aboard as a minority investor. Intel retained its 49% stake in McAfee. 

Under TPG's ownership, McAfee has broadened its portfolio with two acquisitions: Tunnelbear, a VPN service, and Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security startup. 

An agreement to sell McAfee to Thoma Bravo isn't assured, according to CNBC, but a deal would unify McAfee's ownership and potentially position the firm to go public again. 

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